Tladi Bokako’s eight-ball blitz helped the Warriors pull off a 30-run win over the Highveld Lions on day three of their Sunfoil match in East London.
The Lions had started the day on 12-1, needing just 149 more runs to win their first match of the season. But Bokako, on debut, opened the bowling and tore through their top order, taking three wickets for no runs in his first two overs. Reeza Hendricks fell lbw, Omphile Ramela was bowled and Nicky van den Bergh was taken by Simon Harmer. The Lions were on the back foot on 13-4.
It was a tense ending as Rassie van der Dussen dug in and had useful partnerships with Wiaan Mulder (24) and Mangaliso Mosehle (18), but both were cut short by the spin of Harmer and Jon-Jon Smuts, who had taken six wickets between them in the Lions’ first innings.
While Van der Dussen was at the crease, there was hope. But immediately after lunch, Harmer struck again, ending a determined innings of 40 off 91.
Bokako returned to add Aaron Phangiso (0) to his tally, Harmer picked up Beuran Hendricks (3) and Smuts ended a valiant effort by Nono Pongolo (24). They had been bowled out for 130.
The 24-year-old right-arm quick has spent the season with Eastern Province, but he made a good impression with the CSA Invitation team against Zimbabwe in December – bowling with fire and pace, and also providing sterling service as a nightwatchman – when he scored 41 in a fourth-wicket stand of 81 with Temba Bavuma.
He ended the innings with 4-15, from 11 overs and, having taken the wicket of Stephen Cook in the first innings, 5-44 from 20 overs in total.
From a purist’s point of view, it is worth noting that 40 wickets went down in seven-and-a-bit sessions.
Photo: Ryan Wilkisky/BackpagePix